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Police solve 12 of 15 bank robberies in city

Surveillance cameras malfunction when man robs Dunn Avenue credit union

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police said no one was hurt when a man came inside a Northside credit union Tuesday morning with what looked like a gun, demanded money and took off with cash.

Police said a black man, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds, and wearing dark clothing, a hoodie and sunglasses, entered the Jax Federal Credit Union at 1440 Dunn Ave. and demanded money. He left on foot after being given cash.

Lynne Richardson was inside the bank just moments before the holdup.

"I went in before the robbery and I'm just thanking God that nobody has been hurt," Richardson said. "That's the thing that I'm grateful for because I know all of them, and it's just sad."

Even though no one was hurt, Jenny Kearley said it makes her think about safety where she banks.

"This morning I went to Vystar, that's my bank," Kearley said. "It could have happened over there."

Police said it was the 15th bank robbery in Jacksonville this year. Arrests have been made in 12 of those cases, which happened all across the city.

  • Jan. 7: SunTrust Bank, 1700 North Main Str. Black male, no gun. Kenny Byrd charged.
  • Jan. 16: Compass Bank, 299 Monument Road. Black female, no gun.
  • Jan. 16: Jax Metro Credit Union, 3033 Lenox Ave. Black male, no gun. Kenny Byrd charged.
  • Jan. 29: Duval Federal Credit Union, 500 South McDuff Ave. Black male, no gun.
  • Jan. 31: TD Bank, 6060 St Augustine Road. Black male, no gun. Kenny Byrd charged.
  • Feb. 5: Metro Jax Credit Union, 30 East 27th St. Black male, no gun, attempted robbery. Kenny Byrd charged.
  • May 2: Bank of America, 8300 Merchants Way. White male with gun. Benjamin Held charged.
  • May 16: TD Bank at 4500 San Juan Ave. White male, no gun, tried to climb the counter. Benjamin Held charged.
  • June 8: 1-2-1 Financial Credit Union, 6072 Youngerman Cir. White male with handgun.
  • June 12: Jacksonville Bank, 10445 San Jose Blvd. White male with handgun. Benjamin Held charged.
  • July 24: Atlantic Coast Federal Credit Union. 8048 Normandy Blvd. Suspect arrested.
  • Aug. 14: Wells Fargo, 803 Lomax St. Black male, no gun, note to teller.
  • Aug. 20: Fifth Third Bank at 6700 103rd St. White male, note to teller implying gun, no gun seen. Pedro Smith, 26, from Miami arrested.
  • Sept. 21: Wells Fargo Bank, 4617 San Juan Ave. Black male, note to teller, no weapon seen.
  • Sept. 22: Jax Federal Credit Union, 1440 Dunn Ave. Black male with hoodie and sunglasses, armed with handgun with orange tip. 

Police said there were 12 bank robberies in Jacksonville in 2014, and arrests were made in 10 of those.

But officers said Tuesday's robbery could be more challenging because the bank's surveillance system malfunctioned.

"Most robberies are solved by surveillance video (from the bank)," News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said. "They are able to get good video from the robbery and people are able to identify (the robber) once they see it on television, so it's a big deal."

Smith said now investigators will rely on cameras from nearby businesses and people who may have seen the man before or after the robbery.

With 12 of this year's 15 bank robberies this year solved, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said citizen input is more important than ever.

"The community gets involved and they call CrimeStoppers or they call us, and they give us the tips, and they give us the leads and and then we're able to follow those up and solve some of those bank robberies," Sgt. Steve Zona said.

Investigators hope they can gather enough information to put the man who robbed the credit union behind bars.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.